30MHz is making a relaunch within the Sobolt Group. An agreement to this effect was reached on February 1. A month ago, the Amsterdam-based sensor and data company went bankrupt. Almost immediately, it was stated that there were "good hopes" for a restart.
30MHz was active in wireless sensor technology and data processing for horticulture. These technological tools give growers more insights into plant and climate conditions. "We perceive a lot of synergy between the propositions of 30MHz and Plantfellow. Data-driven horticulture offers future prospects. All clients can continue using the platform, sensors & service as usual. The 1st focus now is on guaranteeing quality & service. I'm looking forward to engaging with our joint clients and partners", says Sobolt colleague Dennis van der Wiel. "With the help of digital solutions, growers & breeders gain insight into every step of the growth process. By integrating knowledge, data & technology, together we can continue to build on the horticulture of the future."
Turnover lagged behind costs
The first insolvency report was published recently and made clear at 30MHz, turnover lagged behind costs.
30MHz was founded in 2014 and gradually decided to focus solely on horticulture. The Amsterdam-based company sells sensors and other measuring equipment and offers subscriptions that allow growers to use 30MHz's digital platform.
In 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, the company decided to reorganize. The company hoped to increase its revenue by focusing on increasing the number of subscribers in the Netherlands and tapping into foreign markets such as Mexico and Morocco.
Focus on foreign countries
However, the rollout of 30MHz's product abroad was a lot slower than expected, in part because of language and cultural barriers. In order to increase the subscriber base in the Netherlands, 30MHz partnered with consultants in the agricultural sector. However, the number of new subscribers resulting from those collaborations was less than expected.
All of this meant that 30MHz needed more time and, thus, additional funding to achieve the necessary increase in revenue. The years 2020, 2021, and 2022 each saw losses of more than 1.5 million euros. Turnover in those years varied between 5.5 tons and 1 million euros.
Looking for additional money, 30MHz tried to persuade existing shareholders (the company has many, with the largest having 16.4% of the shares at the time of the bankruptcy) to provide additional financing. New investors were also sought. The company did not succeed.
Buyer not found in time
In mid-September, the Amsterdam-based company then decided to look for a buyer of the shares in 30MHz. Several advisors were brought in for this purpose and, the trustee writes, they "got to work energetically. Ultimately, however, 30MHz was overtaken by time, writes the same trustee. During the sales process, a creditor placed an execution order on its bank accounts, forcing 30MHz to file its own declaration of bankruptcy.
On January 2, 2023, bankruptcy was declared. At that time, 21 people were still employed. On February 1, an agreement was reached with Sobolt Group on a relaunch of 30MHz. Days after the bankruptcy, "several parties" reported interest in a restart.
The top three bidders were allowed to meet with the directors and staff of 30MHz and conduct further investigations into the assets. All three parties made an offer, but only one offer was "completely unconditional," writes the trustee. Negotiations continued with that party.
It was decided to continue 30MHz in slimmed-down form during the bidding process, which lasted three weeks, to enable a possible relaunch. According to the executor, the employees of 30MHz have shown great commitment, and most of them continued to work during this period continued to work.
The digital platform to which subscribers are connected remained operational and functional. A number of key suppliers who helped in this process are being compensated in their costs incurred.
The inventories of 30MHz and so-called work in progress have been transferred to the resumer. By work in progress, the liquidator means hardware ordered by customers but not yet invoiced and delivered, as well as ongoing subscriptions that would be invoiced on an annual basis. This billing, which normally takes place in January, was held up because it was unclear whether 30MHz would be able to continue services. The subscriptions can only be billed if 30MHz will continue to provide services throughout 2023.
It was also agreed with the resumer that it would offer at least half of the employees of 30MHz a new employment contract on market terms.
A total of 33 unsecured creditors have registered with the trustee, amounting to over 8.8 tons, according to the first bankruptcy report. The tax authorities also submitted a claim, a preferential claim of over 286 thousand euros.
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